Tenzo Tea Matcha Smoothie

Tenzo Tea reached out a while back asking if I would be interested in trying their brand of matcha tea. To be honest, I’m not an avid tea drinker only having a mug or two a week but I was willing to try their blends of matcha tea. I was excited to say the least. My wife, who is an avid tea drinker, was also excited as matcha was not one of our go to tea choices. Tenzo Tea had sent over a variety of matcha teas to try including blueberry, raspberry, and traditional green. We tried all three and really fell in love with the raspberry and blueberry blends. I mean really fell in love with them and it was probably the best cup of tea I’ve had in some time, plus it has all of the benefits of matcha. When trying the green blend, I knew that one needed a bit of help, and so I decided to come up with a recipe using Tenzo Tea and decided a great fruit smoothie would be a nice way to incorporate the matcha tea.

Tenzo Tea Smoothie
Tenzo Tea Smoothie

Tenzo tea has all of the benefits of match which includes focused energy, an antioxidant powerhouse, a way to a healthier heart, and a boost in metabolism. What’s not to love about that, and what a better way to start your morning!

Let’s get started.

Ingredients (makes 1 smoothie):

  • 2 tsp matcha tea
  • 4 oz hot water
  • 1 1/2 cups of frozen blueberries
  • 4 frozen strawberries
  • 1 banana, cut up
  • 1 whole kale leaf, torn, optional
  • 1/4 cup of your favorite yogurt, optional

Add the matcha tea to the hot water and stir well. Once it cools down, prepare your smoothie.

My favorite smoothie is pretty much everything listed above, however make this to your liking, just don’t forget to use the Tenzo Tea!

Add all of the ingredients to your blender, or smoothie cup, and blend until smooth.

Tenzo Tea Smoothie Ingredients
Tenzo Tea Smoothie Ingredients

Pour and serve.

The result is not only a great smoothie, but one with the additional benefits of matcha tea! The tea itself does have a bit of a jolt as well which is even a better start to the morning, and yes beats that cup of coffee.

If you are looking for some really great matcha tea, and a great product from California, look up Tenzo Tea and give them your support. It’s awesome. Hope you enjoy!

Homemade Baklava using D’Vash

I find it interesting that over the last few months there are a couple of boxes of fillo dough and puff pastry in my freezer. I’m almost certain I had a couple of ideas bouncing around in my head during those purchases, but it was not until team members from D’Vash Organics contacted me once again to partner with them in creating yet another great recipe using their amazing D’Vash Date Nectar.  That’s when I knew exactly what I was going to make. A traditional baklava, in some ways, but using D’Vash date nectar in replace of honey. The result was mind blowing to say the least.

Homemade Baklava using D'Vash
Homemade Baklava using D’Vash

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 2 rolls or 1 box of fillo dough, thawed
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 cups of shelled pistachios
  • 2 cups of walnuts
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup of D’Vash date nectar
  • 3/4 cup of water
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Start by making your sweet sauce that will be used after the baklava has baked. You will want to do this ahead so that it has time to cool.

Add 3/4 cup of sugar, water, lemon juice, and D’Vash date nectar to a small pot. Bring to a boil on medium-high heat, then once boiling reduce the heat and cook for about 5 more minutes. Stir along the way. After 5 minutes, remove from the heat and let it cool.

Now the backbreaking work. Just kidding. This is the only time consuming part, and if you are having your kids help, this can take a bit of patience as unlayering each piece of fragile fillo can be a bit nerve wracking. Just make sure your fillo dough is completely thawed. I set mine out the day before and place it in the refrigerator overnight for a day or two to ensure it is completely thawed.

Get a baking sheet out, or if your are super detailed get a baking dish out that will fit your sheet of fillo dough. I go with my baking sheet and make sure that when I layer each fillo that it matches up with the previous fillo dough.

Make the sugar and nut mixture. To a food processor, or use a knife if you desire, pulse the nuts into a fine chop. Add the nuts to a bowl along with the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and cinnamon and give that a good mix.

Get your bowl of melted butter ready along with a pastry brush. Unroll a roll of fillo and get ready to baklava!

Place 10 fillo sheets onto the baking sheet one at a time, and brush each sheet with butter once it’s in the pan before adding the next sheet of fillo.  After the 10th sheet, spread about 1/5 of nut mixture over the fillo dough.

Do the same process, but this time layer only 5 sheets, buttering each sheet, then on the 5th sheet, top with the nut and sugar mixture.

Do this about 4 more times with the 5 sheet layer process, then on the final top, go back to the 10 stack of fillo, ensuring that all nut mixture is used up before layering the top 10 sheets of fillo.

Butter the top of the 10th sheet, then gently push down and form the baklava.

Homemade Baklava Ingredients using D'Vash
Homemade Baklava Ingredients using D’Vash

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.

Now let’s cut the baklava. Cut the fillo into about 2 inch strips, lengthwise, then make diagonal cuts to make somewhat of a diamond shape. If you want to keep things simple, just cut into rectangles, it’s up to you.

Place the baking sheet into the oven and cook for about 1 hour, up to 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Once the baklava is a great golden brown, remove from the oven, and immediately ladle over the cooled syrup you made earlier, ensuring that you get into all of those crevices.

Now the hard part… waiting.

The goal is to not only let the baklava cool, but you want that syrup to penetrate all of that great fillo that you took your time stacking. After about 4 hours, go ahead and try the baklava, but trust me the longer you wait, the better it gets. Kids approved, neighbors and friends approved, and chef approved.

If you are looking for a great treat that will be sure to please everyone (with the exception of those with nut allergies), then give this baklava a try. The replacement of D’Vash really made this baklava stand out. It had this subtle tartness that really made this delicious baklava pop.

If you are wanting to try D’Vash Organics Date Nectar (and I highly recommend it), then head over to their store and pick some up. My lucky readers can use the coupon code DVASHSIMPLECOMFORTFOOD upon check out! Hope you enjoy D’Vash as much as we do!

D’Vash Roasted Pears

D’Vash recently contacted me inquiring if I would be interested in trying their product and creating a a recipe. I am always game when it comes to that and I was really interested in their product after reading their story. Their product is a date nectar, very similar to what you would taste in a honey. It’s sweet, and really, really good. Their product came in straws and after my kids and I sucked down a tube or two, I decided that I would come up with a roasted pear recipe using this sweet nectar. It was a perfect treat to end our week, and a really nice dessert to boot.

D'Vash Roasted Pears Recipe
D’Vash Roasted Pears Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 2 whole pears, quartered
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 straws of D’Vash Nectar
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • vanilla ice cream, optional

This recipe could not be any easier to make, and it is a perfect dessert.

Start by heating a medium skillet on medium heat. Add the sugar, water, butter, and let the butter melt down. Next add in the pears and the date nectar. Give a gentle toss, and continue to cook for about 10-15 minutes or until the pears soften and the mixture becomes a thick syrup.

D'Vash Roasted Pears
D’Vash Roasted Pears

When you are ready to serve, scoop some vanilla ice cream into a serving bowl, and ladle in some pears and the sweet syrup. Dig in.

The product that D’Vash is turning out is really great and my kids loved it. You can get their products online at D’Vash Organics.

Smokenator 1000 – Product Review

I was totally surprised this past Father’s Day. Not only did my wife and kids treat me like a king, but they surprised me with some awesome gifts. Who would have thought that my wife knew I needed to upgrade my smoker! As they brought me out to the van (I knew they were up to something), my son opened the back, and low and behold there lied a smoker. Excited? Yes! completely excited. As I had no knowledge of the brand, nor type of smoker, I said I would do some research and see if this was worth keeping for the long run. Unfortunately the reviews were not all that great, and we agreed to do some research and find one that would fit my needs, and work within budget. She was not disappointed, however I kind of was because I wanted to break that smoker in like you would not believe!

Anyway, after some research, I decided that I would pursue the Smokenator 1000. Yes, that’s what it is called. I was a bit cautious at first as their website is a bit dated, however, the reviews were rock solid, so I went ahead and purchased it. The Smokenator 1000 works with my Weber Kettle, 22 inch grill, and that is perfect as I did not have to have another large item to store in my garage.

Smokenator 1000 Product Review - Pulled Pork Sandwich
Smoked Pork Shoulder Sandwich using the Smokenator 1000.

I was anxious for the product to arrive, and it arrived rather quickly as I ordered it from Amazon.com. The setup was totally simple. Basically attach the supporting grill to the support tabs of the grill. It snugs up against the grill perfectly. Then, add coals into the holes, and heat about 20 coals in your chimney starter. Once the coals have heated through, add them to the middle section where the water container goes, and move around with the metal rod that comes with it. Add in the thin wood chips to your liking, insert the water pan, fill with water, and then you are good to go.

It does note to keep the bottom vents open, which I did, and also when placing the cover on, to keep the top vents facing away from the Smokenator 1000. I should also note they somewhat stress to keep the top of the vents open only about the size of a pencil, I believe it was 5/8″.

I tried my luck with a pork shoulder, rubbed the way I like, and I’m not joking, this was probably one of the best smoked pork shoulder’s I’ve made to date. Even my wife and kids agreed.

They note to check the water container about every hour. I did, and the water held it’s own. I should note that I did add more water about two hours in, and after recently smoking other meats, I did have the water evaporate within the hour, so go ahead and check every hour.

I’m not sure how this holds a steady heat, but it held for hours at around 230 degrees, and to me that’s a great temperature for low and slow cooking.

After my second attempt at using the Smokenator 1000, I was completely sold. A great investment, especially for those using a 22″ Weber Kettle grill. You can find out more information from their website.

Question. Are any of you using the Smokenator 1000, and if so are you pleased with the results?